Granite Bay pounds Vacaville in battle of Section Champs
GRANITE BAY -Granite Bay High School had two weeks to clean up its offense, stationing its bye after back-to-back clashes with Westlake Village state powers Westlake and Oaks Christian. And while the Grizzlies were cleaning up, they went ahead and performed a full detail job. Granite Bay, the reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion, overwhelmed Division II champ Vacaville 47-21 on Friday night, blasting through holes on both sides of its huge line, beating the Bulldogs around the corners on sweeps, cashing in on turnovers and stuffing them on fourth down. “We were ready to play. You could tell we had a week off,” Grizzlies head coach Ernie Cooper said. “We were fresh. We told our guys we needed to start fast. We were a little sloppy early in those first two games. We looked good.” The Grizzlies had back-to-back touchdown drives of 80 and 83 yards in the first quarter en route to tying this series of Northern California powers 4-4-1. Granite Bay ran shifty Johnny Cooley and big Taft Partridge up the gut, and Partridge led Tony Ellison on sweeps. Granite Bay led 30-0 before the Bulldogs knew what hit them. Cooley rushed for 101 yards in 24 carries and scored on two short runs. Ellison had 123 yards in six carries, including a 69-yard scoring sprint, and Partridge chugged for 69 of his 90 yards and a touchdown in the first half, when the Grizzlies built a 40-6 lead. “We were really just clicking, finishing our blocks,” Partridge said after peeling off a piece of tape to reveal a scraped, bloody bridge of his nose. “That’s what it’s all about. Little things make big things go.” Granite Bay rushed for 261 of its 371 yards in the first half, and the Grizzlies were just as successful passing, as Grant Caraway completed 6 of 8 for 102 yards, mostly wide-open flips into the flats, including a 23-yard toss to Michael Geraghty to draw first blood. “We had to establish a running game. We were determined to spread the ball around — our halfback, fullback and fly back,” Cooper said. “We were going left, right, up the middle; left, right, up the middle.” Meanwhile, Vacaville’s wing T produced 234 yards in nine big plays, but its other 34 carries netted 97 yards. Granite Bay’s front of Mason Conen, Tyler Arneson, Luke Jarvis, Tony Milo, Beau Hersberger and others stuffed a fourth and one early in the second quarter, which led to a Grizzlies touchdown, and Nick Grace had a fumble recovery and an interception.